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Songs

This section of the WhatNotToSing.com database is so dangerous it ought to come with a warning sticker. There are no shortage of ways to misinterpret the Song data we've compiled. For example, if you happen to have toothpaste for brains, and you looked at the table below, you might reason thusly:

"Hmm...'In A Dream', by Badlands. A 94.0 average, that's good. Only been performed once, for 5-stars. Looks like a pretty sweet choice. I'll try it!"

Thankfully, most contestants this dumb can't find the audition site in the first place, and the judges do a decent job of weeding out the ones that do. But beware, the Songs table provides plenty more rope with which to hang yourself. Here, then, are a few bits of friendly advice from the staff.

  • In all seriousness, do avoid songs that have already been showstoppers; the odds are not in your favor. Note how many songs have provided a 5-star performance (sort the Ratings Tab table by the rightmost column), then note how few have done so for two different contestants. It's difficult enough to be compared to a professional recording artist, but when you invite comparisons to previous excellent Idol moments as well, you're really asking for it.
  • Corollary: steer clear of commercial hit songs by a former Idol, unless your goal is to shout to the world, "Hey, look! I can't sing as well as someone you crowned champion a few years ago!"
  • In a similar vein, avoid songs associated with a previous disastrous performance. If your lifelong dream is to sing Crocodile Rock on the Idol stage, get over it.
  • Keep in mind that each song's numerical rating is of the performances of that song, not of the song itself. Always take the singers into account. The "X-Factor" column in the Extended Data tab is a great way to see whether a song has helped or hurt singers in the long run.

Which brings us to this final tidbit of advice. When faced with a choice between a song that has been performed previously on Idol (even if it wasn't a showstopper or a disaster) and a fresh one, all else being equal, go with the fresh one. We've found a clear downward trend on repeat and reprise performances, particularly in the later seasons.

[back to top] American Idol  Songs


Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Song / Artist Average Rating #Pf Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
51
Angels0001Angels
44.0
 
3 70 21 17.7 0 1 1 1 0
52
Angels Brought Me Here0001Angels Brought Me Here
48.0
 
1 48 48 13.0 0 0 1 0 0
53
Angie0001Angie
54.0
 
1 54 54 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
54
Another Day In Paradise0001Another Day In Paradise
70.0
 
1 70 70 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
55
Any Man Of Mine0001Any Man Of Mine
38.0
 
3 49 23 23.0 0 1 2 0 0
56
Anymore0001Anymore
44.0
 
2 53 35 16.5 0 1 1 0 0
57
Anyone Who Had A Heart0001Anyone Who Had A Heart
40.7
 
3 49 33 19.3 0 1 2 0 0
58
Anytime0001Anytime
8.0
 
1 8 8 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
59
Anyway0001Anyway
72.5
 
2 79 66 20.5 0 0 0 2 0
60
Apologize0001Apologize
24.0
 
2 45 3 13.0 1 0 1 0 0
61
Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not0001Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not
58.0
 
1 58 58 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
62
Arthurs Theme Best That You Can Do0001Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)
42.0
 
1 42 42 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
63
As Long As He Needs Me0001As Long As He Needs Me
From: Oliver!
75.5
 
2 80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
64
As Time Goes By0001As Time Goes By
59.0
 
1 59 59 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
65
As We Lay0001As We Lay
43.0
 
1 43 43 23.0 0 0 1 0 0
66
At Last0001At Last
60.0
 
1 60 60 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
67
At This Moment0001At This Moment
66.0
 
1 66 66 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
68
Aw Naw0001Aw Naw
31.0
 
1 31 31 11.0 0 1 0 0 0
69
Baba O'Riley0001Baba O'Riley
69.0
 
1 69 69 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
70
Baby Grand0001Baby Grand
55.0
 
1 55 55 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
71
Baby I Love You0001Baby, I Love You
56.0
 
1 56 56 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
72
Baby I Need Your Loving0001Baby I Need Your Loving
65.5
 
2 76 55 17.0 0 0 1 1 0
73
Baby Please Don't Go0001Baby, Please Don't Go
45.0
 
1 45 45 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
74
Baby What You Want Me To Do0001Baby What You Want Me To Do
59.0
 
1 59 59 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
75
Babylon0001Babylon
73.0
 
1 73 73 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
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